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Title 42

Displaying title 42, up to date as of 9/21/2021. Title 42 was last amended 9/15/2021.

Title 42

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§ 488.845 Civil money penalties.

(a) Application.

(1) CMS may impose a civil money penalty against an HHA for either the number of days the HHA is not in compliance with one or more conditions of participation or for each instance that an HHA is not in compliance, regardless of whether the HHA's deficiencies pose immediate jeopardy.

(2) CMS may impose a civil money penalty for the number of days of immediate jeopardy.

(3) A per-day and a per-instance CMP may not be imposed simultaneously for the same deficiency.

(b) Amount of penalty -

(1) Factors considered. CMS takes into account the following factors in determining the amount of the penalty:

(i) The factors set out at § 488.815.

(ii) The size of an agency and its resources.

(iii) Accurate and credible resources, such as PECOS, Medicare cost reports and Medicare/Medicaid claims information that provide information on the operation and resources of the HHA.

(iv) Evidence that the HHA has a built-in, self-regulating quality assessment and performance improvement system to provide proper care, prevent poor outcomes, control patient injury, enhance quality, promote safety, and avoid risks to patients on a sustainable basis that indicates the ability to meet the conditions of participation and to ensure patient health and safety.

(2) Adjustments to penalties. Based on revisit survey findings, adjustments to penalties may be made after a review of the provider's attempted correction of deficiencies.

(i) CMS may increase a CMP in increments based on a HHA's inability or failure to correct deficiencies, the presence of a system-wide failure in the provision of quality care, or a determination of immediate jeopardy with actual harm versus immediate jeopardy with potential for harm.

(ii) CMS may also decrease a CMP in increments to the extent that it finds, pursuant to a revisit, that substantial and sustainable improvements have been implemented even though the HHA is not yet in full compliance with the conditions of participation.

(iii) No penalty assessment will exceed $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 for each day of noncompliance.

(3) Upper range of penalty. Penalties in the upper range of $8,500 to $10,000 as adjusted under 45 CFR part 102 per day of noncompliance are imposed for a condition-level deficiency that is immediate jeopardy. The penalty in this range will continue until compliance can be determined based on a revisit survey.

(i) $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per day for a deficiency or deficiencies that are immediate jeopardy and that result in actual harm.

(ii) $9,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per day for a deficiency or deficiencies that are immediate jeopardy and that result in a potential for harm.

(iii) $8,500 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per day for an isolated incident of noncompliance in violation of established HHA policy.

(4) Middle range of penalty. Penalties in the range of $1,500-$8,500 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per day of noncompliance are imposed for a repeat and/or condition-level deficiency that does not constitute immediate jeopardy, but is directly related to poor quality patient care outcomes.

(5) Lower range of penalty. Penalties in this range of $500-$4,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 are imposed for a repeat and/or condition-level deficiency that does not constitute immediate jeopardy and that are related predominately to structure or process-oriented conditions (such as OASIS submission requirements) rather than directly related to patient care outcomes.

(6) Per instance penalty. Penalty imposed per instance of noncompliance may be assessed for one or more singular events of condition-level noncompliance that are identified and where the noncompliance was corrected during the onsite survey. When penalties are imposed for per instance of noncompliance, or more than one per instance of noncompliance, the penalties will be in the range of $1,000 to $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per instance, not to exceed $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 each day of noncompliance.

(7) Decreased penalty amounts. If the immediate jeopardy situation is removed, but condition-level noncompliance continues, CMS will shift the penalty amount imposed per day from the upper range to the middle or lower range. An earnest effort to correct any systemic causes of deficiencies and sustain improvement must be evident.

(8) Increased penalty amounts.

(i) In accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, CMS will increase the per day penalty amount for any condition-level deficiency or deficiencies which, after imposition of a lower-level penalty amount, become sufficiently serious to pose potential harm or immediate jeopardy.

(ii) CMS increases the per day penalty amount for deficiencies that are not corrected and found again at the time of revisit survey(s) for which a lower-level penalty amount was previously imposed.

(iii) CMS may impose a more severe amount of penalties for repeated noncompliance with the same condition-level deficiency or uncorrected deficiencies from a prior survey.

(c) Procedures -

(1) Notice of intent. CMS provides the HHA with written notice of the intent to impose a civil money penalty. The notice includes the amount of the CMP being imposed, the basis for such imposition and the proposed effective date of the sanction.

(2) Appeals.

(i) Appeals procedures. An HHA may request a hearing on the determination of the noncompliance that is the basis for imposition of the civil money penalty. The request must meet the requirements in § 498.40 of this chapter.

(ii) Waiver of a hearing. An HHA may waive the right to a hearing, in writing, within 60 days from the date of the notice imposing the civil money penalty. If an HHA timely waives its right to a hearing, CMS reduces the penalty amount by 35 percent, and the amount is due within 15 days of the HHAs agreeing in writing to waive the hearing. If the HHA does not waive its right to a hearing in accordance to the procedures specified in this subsection, the civil money penalty is not reduced by 35 percent.

(d) Accrual and duration of penalty.

(1)

(i) The per day civil money penalty may start accruing as early as the beginning of the last day of the survey that determines that the HHA was out of compliance, as determined by CMS.

(ii) A civil money penalty for each per instance of noncompliance is imposed in a specific amount for that particular deficiency, with a maximum of $10,000 as adjusted annually under 45 CFR part 102 per day per HHA.

(2) A penalty that is imposed per day and per instance of noncompliance may not be imposed simultaneously.

(3) Duration of per day penalty when there is immediate jeopardy.

(i) In the case of noncompliance that poses immediate jeopardy, CMS must terminate the provider agreement within 23 calendar days after the last day of the survey if the immediate jeopardy is not removed.

(ii) A penalty imposed per day of noncompliance will stop accruing on the day the provider agreement is terminated or the HHA achieves substantial compliance, whichever occurs first.

(4) Duration of penalty when there is no immediate jeopardy.

(i) In the case of noncompliance that does not pose immediate jeopardy, the daily accrual of per day civil money penalties is imposed for the days of noncompliance prior to the notice specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section and an additional period of no longer than 6 months following the last day of the survey.

(ii) If the HHA has not achieved compliance with the conditions of participation, CMS terminates the provider agreement. The accrual of civil money penalty stops on the day the HHA agreement is terminated or the HHA achieves substantial compliance, whichever is earlier.

(e) Computation and notice of total penalty amount.

(1) When a civil money penalty is imposed on a per day basis and the HHA achieves compliance with the conditions of participation as determined by a revisit survey, CMS sends a final notice to the HHA containing all of the following information:

(i) The amount of penalty assessed per day.

(ii) The total number of days of noncompliance.

(iii) The total amount due.

(iv) The due date of the penalty.

(v) The rate of interest to be assessed on any unpaid balance beginning on the due date, as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section.

(2) When a civil money penalty is imposed for per instance of noncompliance, CMS sends a notice to the HHA containing all of the following information:

(i) The amount of the penalty that was assessed.

(ii) The total amount due.

(iii) The due date of the penalty.

(iv) The rate of interest to be assessed on any unpaid balance beginning on the due date, as provided in paragraph (f)(6) of this section.

(3) In the case of an HHA for which the provider agreement has been involuntarily terminated and for which a civil money penalty was imposed on a per day basis, CMS sends this penalty information after one of the following actions has occurred:

(i) Final administrative decision is made.

(ii) The HHA has waived its right to a hearing in accordance with paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.

(iii) Time for requesting a hearing has expired and CMS has not received a hearing request from the HHA.

(f) Due date for payment of penalty. A penalty is due and payable 15 days from notice of the final administrative decision.

(1) Payments are due for all civil money penalties within 15 days:

(i) After a final administrative decision when the HHA achieves substantial compliance before the final decision or the effective date of termination before final decision,

(ii) After the time to appeal has expired and the HHA does not appeal or fails to timely appeal the initial determination,

(iii) After CMS receives a written request from the HHA requesting to waive its right to appeal the determinations that led to the imposition of a sanction,

(iv) After substantial compliance is achieved, or

(v) After the effective date of termination.

(2) A request for hearing does not delay the imposition of any penalty; it only potentially delays the collection of the final penalty amount.

(3) If an HHA waives its right to a hearing according to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, CMS will apply a 35 percent reduction to the CMP amount when:

(i) The HHA achieved compliance with the conditions of participation before CMS received the written waiver of hearing; or

(ii) The effective date of termination occurs before CMS received the written waiver of hearing.

(4) The period of noncompliance may not extend beyond 6 months from the last day of the survey.

(5) The amount of the penalty, when determined, may be deducted (offset) from any sum then or later owing by CMS or State Medicaid to the HHA.

(6) Interest is assessed and accrues on the unpaid balance of a penalty, beginning on the due date. Interest is computed at the rate specified in § 405.378(d) of this chapter.

(g) Penalties collected by CMS -

(1) Disbursement of CMPs. Civil money penalties and any corresponding interest collected by CMS from Medicare and Medicaid participating HHAs are disbursed in proportion to average dollars spent by Medicare and Medicaid at the national level based on MSIS and HHA PPS data for a three year fiscal period.

(i) Based on expenditures for the FY 2007-2009 period, the initial proportions to be disbursed are 63 percent returned to the U.S. Treasury and 37 percent returned to the State Medicaid agency.

(ii) Beginning one year after the effective date of this section, CMS shall annually update these proportions based on the most recent 3-year fiscal period, prior to the year in which the CMP is imposed, for which CMS determines that the relevant data are essentially complete.

(iii) The portion corresponding to the Medicare payments is returned to the U.S. Department of Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.

(iv) The portion corresponding to the Medicaid payments is returned to the State Medicaid agency.

(2) Penalties may not be used for Survey and Certification operations nor as the State's Medicaid non-Federal medical assistance or administrative match.

(h) Review of the penalty. When an administrative law judge or state hearing officer (or higher administrative review authority) finds that the basis for imposing a civil monetary penalty exists, as specified in this part, the administrative law judge, State hearing officer (or higher administrative review authority) may not -

(1) Set a penalty of zero or reduce a penalty to zero;

(2) Review the exercise of discretion by CMS to impose a civil monetary penalty; and

(3) Consider any factors in reviewing the amount of the penalty other than those specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

[77 FR 67165, Nov. 8, 2012, as amended at 79 FR 66118, Nov. 6, 2014; 81 FR 61563, Sept. 6, 2016]